Essex County is traversed by a number of highways. Three primary interstates and one auxiliary cross the county. This includes two long distance main interstates, one north-south (Interstate 95) from Miami and New Brunswick, Canada signed as the New Jersey Turnpike and one east-west Interstate 80 from San Francisco and Teaneck. East-West Interstate 78 from near Harrisburg and New York City also crosses the county. All of these only have interchanges in one municipality in the county, Newark for I-95 and I-78 and Fairfield for I-80. I-80 auxiliary route Interstate 280 passes through the county in a northeast-southwest direction and has exits in Roseland, Livingston, West Orange, Orange, East Orange, and Newark, making it one of the most important roads for intracounty travel.
Essex County also has four U.S. Routes that cross it. Route 1/9 are concurrent and a freeway throughout their length in the county. They pass through Newark from Elizabeth in Union County to Kearny in Hudson County. It crosses over the Passaic River on the Pulaski Skyway, which bans trucks, so just before it leaves the county in the north Truck 1/9 splits for the traffic that is not allowed on the bridge. Truck 1/9 is also a freeway its entire length in the county. U.S. Route 22 eastern terminus is in Newark the only municipality it crosses in the county. It is a freeway along it route in Essex County. It connects Newark with points to the east. The last U.S. Route in the county is U.S. Route 46, which passes through Fairfield, where it is a major commercial road that parallels I-80.
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